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Cleo No Fail Credit Building Card

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure HERE. Thank you.

For people looking to not only build credit, but aim at also having a high credit score, Cleo is offering an awesome opportunity to do just that – with the Cleo Credit Building Card.

Cleo is especially useful for young people who need to start building credit. Here’s why:

There’s no credit check – if you’re just starting out, you either don’t have any credit rating or it’s really bad. Credit card companies will therefore either decline a card or give you one that’s not affordable.

There’s no interest rate – credit card interests rates – for young people or anyone who is starting to build or repair credit – are typically so ridiculously high. It’s like punishment for poor credit.

There are no fees – credit card companies typically charge a fee for any revolving balance. With Cleo, there are no fees to pay.

There’s no credit minimum – basically, minimums and limits are set by you.

What is Cleo

Cleo is a secure financial app. It is accessible not just on mobile however. You can manage transactions on a PC or tablet. You don’t have to rely on a smartphone to use Cleo. To register however, you do need a smartphone.

With Cleo you can:

  • Budget
  • Borrow
  • Save money
  • Assign categories for savings (vacation, christmas, etc.)
  • Build credit

Cleo is also an artificial intelligence feedback app with a personality too. It interacts with users with funny, sarcastic, memes and other fun attitudes that make managing money interesting and fun.

Here’s an example

Cleo money app roast for spending too much on alcohol

When you download Cleo text “Roast” to get roasted!

How it Works

Cleo structures building credit on the notion that you spend what you can afford to spend. Therefore, its a no-fail system that builds your credit while also increasing your credit score. Here is how:

Cleo explains that when you first apply for your credit building card you start by adding money to a security deposit account. You choose how much money to deposit on a regular basis. This could be monthly or weekly if you wish.

As you continue adding to your security deposit, your credit limit increases. Your spending money is based on how much money you have in your account. For example, if you deposit $300, then that’s your spending limit.

Depositing money regularly triggers the credit building factor that signals to the credit companies (like Experian and Equifax), that you are able to manage money and you are a ‘saver’.

What happens if you overspend?

However, if your funds overdraft or you spend more than what is available in your account, Cleo helps you out and covers your charge. Of course, you have to pay it back. But Cleo doesn’t charge you. It’s like a loan without a fee.

As a safe measure however, Cleo also has a feature that caps how much you can spend. Useful because you want to keep within your budget and what you have available to spend.

With a bank and other major credit cards however, if you go over the limit there is a fee and it also scars your credit. Cleo’s cap feature also teaches you to spend what you have and live within your limits.

Typically, with a credit card you have a spending limit that is NOT based on what you can afford. It’s based on your income and your spending and payment habits. Thus, if you spend a lot monthly, but you pay on time, your credit card limit is increased.

That’s a trap! Sure you can spend, but how much money do you have left to save? AND – if you don’t pay the full balance monthly, you have a revolving interest fee added to your existing balance.

For example, if you spend $20 at the pump and you charge it to your credit card, that ends up being more than $20.

Related: How to save money at the Pump

However, since you have money in your security deposit account, the balance gets paid off. Paying off a credit card is key to having a great credit rating.

Security of your money

Additionally, with Cleo your money is secured as it is FDIC insured, which means that if something happens to the bank where Cleo holds their funds – Web Bank – you get your money back.

Web Bank is a national issuer of small business credit products. Cleo uses Web Bank Strategic Partner platform, which is specific for retailers, manufacturers, finance companies, software as a service (“SaaS”) and financial technology (fintech) companies.

This is how Cleo as a FinTech company is able to offer a credit card and other products to their consumers. Web Bank is FDIC insured as well, which makes your money with CLEO FIDC protected.

Boosting your credit profile

Cleo Visa card can be used to pay for all sort of things. Bills, restaurants, gas, etc. To boost your credit score you use the CLEO credit card as much as possible. The more you use it, the more you boost your credit.

Whenever you pay with a credit card you’re creating a spending record. That creates a spending transaction history . When you pay your credit card bill monthly, a credit card payment transaction history is recorded as well. Thus, a history of how you manage payments and spending starts creating a profile of you as a consumer. The credit reporting companies then assign you a consumer score based on a formula of spending, income, payments. That number is your credit, or FICO score.

Since Cleo is a legit credit card, your spending and payment history gets reported to the 3 major credit bureaus – Equifax, Transunion & Experian. This is something that is done across the board with all credit card companies. Seems like an invasion of privacy doesn’t it? Unfortunately, financial lending revolves around building credit. There’s no way around it.

Nonetheless, credit limits are part of the formula the credit bureaus use to determine a credit score. The goal of credit scores is to have the highest score possible.

Why is having a high credit score important?

With a high credit score, your chances of getting a loan with the lowest interest rate available increases. Thus, if you’re buying a car for example, you can qualify for the lowest interest rate available.

Likewise, when getting a loan to buy a house or refinance your existing home, you can get those wonderful advertised super low rates.

Credit scores are also important because they’re used in a variety of settings, such as for renting an apartment for example.

A high credit score is also influential in other aspects of life as it gives businesses a snapshot of how well you manage your finances. A low credit score may indicate a person with a history of not paying on time for example.

Credit scores also provide a snapshot of how reliable and responsible a person is for repaying debt or paying rent late or on time.

Personally, I track mine weekly. As a victim of credit card fraud, I learned how important it is to have a clean and high credit score in addition to keeping an eye out for any hacking on my finances.

In my opinion and my recommendation is for everyone to keep a watchful eye on their credit score.

Following is a screenshot of my credit score

high FICO credit score

In order to keep a high credit score I sharpen my budgeting skills and keep a budget discipline to avoid debt.

Reviews

The following image is from the Google Apps Store, showing Cleo has over half a million download, over 25K reviews and a 4.2 star rating. Most of the negative reviews are complains about customer service. Reviewers say the app is great though.

Install Cleo credit building card app on Playstore

With Cleo’s free subscription you can:

  • Set up a budget
  • Autosave
  • Track your money 
  • Get speedy support (replies take 6 minutes on average)

What is Cleo Plus?

Cleo Plus is a subscription which gives you access to more financially useful features which in time, should help you build your credit history.

The Plus subscription costs $5.99 a month, which is $71.88 over the course of 12 months

With Cleo Plus you’ll get the above features AND:

  • Access to your credit scoring
  • Personalized saving goals and round ups
  • Cashback at some of your favorite stores
  • Up to $100 cash advance (if you’re eligible)

The Cleo Credit Builder Card is part of the Cleo Builder Subscription plan, where you pay $5.99 monthly to access all the features associated with the plan.

The Cleo credit building strategy is a great opportunity for anyone who is starting out building credit, or just needs to clean up an existing shady credit history. Especially for people who struggle with budgeting and sticking to it.

Much cheaper than a bank’s $35 overdraft fees. (Read more about how it works on Cleo’s blog)

Who can apply

  • Anyone age 18 and up can apply.
  • You also need to have a valid social security number.
  • You can live anywhere
  • Have your birthdate and address handy
  • You don’t need to be a US citizen

In a way, its a no-fail safe method of building credit because as you control how much your limit is by adding to your deposit account, it is less tempting to spend money. As long as you pay your monthly statement balance in full, your credit score will increase.

You can always try Cleo Credit Builder, and if you don’t like it cancel. It doesn’t affect your credit score if you do.

I hope this helps you build your credit!

Happy savings, TaLis

person reading Cleo app roast comment

Also read:

Disclaimer: While Cleo is compensating me to write this post, and it contains affiliate links (which means that the company pays me a couple of bucks to buy coffee) I’m choosing to write and share the Cleo Credit Builder strategy because I find it to be useful for people who are building up or fixing their credit and can’t qualify for a credit card with a decent interest rate. Please read my full disclosure to learn who I choose to write about in this blog and for more details.

Start Here » Tips » Finances » Cleo No Fail Credit Building Card
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